WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
today filed an administrative lawsuit against the Daisy Manufacturing
Co. (Daisy), doing business as Daisy Outdoor Products, of Rogers, Ark.,
seeking a recall of 7.5 million Powerline Airguns. The lawsuit seeks to
compel Daisy to notify consumers that the model 880 and model 856
Powerline Airguns are defective, and present a substantial risk of death
or injury to anyone using the airgun. Daisy has refused to voluntarily
recall these BB guns, which have been sold since September 1972 in
sporting goods, department, and hardware stores, as well as on the
CPSC's staff has learned of at least 15 deaths and 171 serious
injuries that have been attributed to alleged design and manufacturing
defects in Daisy's Powerline Airguns. About eighty percent of those who
have been killed or injured by the airguns were children under the age
of 16. Children have been killed after being shot in the head or chest.
Other children have been seriously injured after BBs punctured the
heart, spinal cord, or skull, causing paralysis and brain damage.
CPSC began an investigation in May 2000 following reports that
Daisy had made changes to the model 856 Powerline Airgun in order to
correct potential design defects. The lawsuit filed by CPSC staff
alleges that Daisy's Powerline Airguns are still defective because BBs
can become lodged in the magazine of the airguns, even though the airgun
can appear empty. It is foreseeable that a child, believing the BB gun
is empty, could play with Daisy's Powerline Airgun in an unsafe manner.
The stuck BB can then become dislodged, causing death or serious injury
if fired in the direction of another person. CPSC staff believes that
all 856 and 880 model airguns sold by Daisy have this defect.
The CPSC lawsuit also contends that Daisy's Powerline Airguns'
failure to incorporate an automatic safety system makes the BB guns
defective. Daisy's Powerline Airguns currently have a manual safety
button on them.
One of the many tragic incidents that CPSC learned about involved
John "Tucker" Mahoney, of New Hope, Pa. On May 24, 1999, Tucker and his
friend were shooting a model 856 Powerline, two days after he had
received the airgun as a gift for his 16th birthday. CPSC staff
contends that as a result of a defect within the airgun, a BB remained
lodged inside of the airgun's magazine, unbeknownst to Tucker or his
friend. Believing the airgun was unloaded, Tucker's friend pointed and
fired the airgun at close range. The hidden BB became dislodged,
chambered, and struck Tucker in the head. Tucker was severely injured
and is now in a near vegetative state. In February 2001, Daisy settled
Tucker's product liability lawsuit for approximately $18 million
CPSC staff believes that it would cost $2 per airgun to correct
the defect that causes BBs to become lodged in the loading mechanism and
to put an automatic safety device on the airgun.
CPSC staff filed the lawsuit against Daisy under Section 15 of the
Consumer Product Safety Act and Section 15 of the Federal Hazardous
Substances Act. The administrative complaint does not seek a ban on all
airguns or all Daisy airguns. The complaint seeks a recall of these two
models of airguns which staff believes are defective.
CPSC's case will be heard by an administrative law judge.
October 30, 2001
CPSC Contact: Scott Wolfson
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1189